From quick sound-bites to deep-dives into pop culture, these are the arts podcasts that we can’t get enough of right now.
“ArtCurious,” hosted by Jennifer Dasal
This art history-centric podcast gets curiouser and curiouser with each listen. Focusing on “unexpected” and “slightly odd” morsels of Western art, the show looks into topics like the rivalry between painters Vigée Le Brun and Labille-Guiard; the potential murder of Van Gogh and the conspiracy perfuming the “Mona Lisa.”
“Last Seen,” produced by Stephen Kurkjian, Kelly Horan and Jack Rodolico
True-crime meets art history in this deep-dive into the famous heist of 13 artworks, collectively valued at $500 million, from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The theft — conducted by two men dressed as police officers — took approximately 81 minutes and has remained unsolved for 28 years. Culling together interviews and investigative reporting, “Last Seen” leafs through all material pertaining to the case to see what can be sussed out.
“A Piece of Work,” hosted by Abbi Jacobson
Comedian Abbi Jacobson takes listeners on a journey through the Museum of Modern Art, where she’s joined by guests — including Questlove, Tavi Gevinson, Hannibal Buress and RuPaul. Together, the friends dust off art history facts while perusing the great modern artworks housed within the museum’s walls.
“Art & Artists” podcasts, hosted by Tate
How do you make money off art? How do artists represent time? An illuminating podcast series from Tate attempts to answer these questions and more through in-depth interviews with the art world’s leading academics, curators and creatives.
“The Art History Babes,” hosted by Corrie, Natalie, Jen and Ginny
Created by four women with Masters’ degrees in Art History, this program exhumes facts and histories that appeal to the interdisciplinary inclined. While the tone is lighthearted, the podcast is weighted with sharply realized takes on visual art subjects that range from tombs and sarcophagi of the Etruscan civilization to astrology.
“Everything is Alive,” hosted by Ian Chillag
Ever look at a can of soda and wonder: “What’s she thinking?” If your answer is yes, then this podcast is for you. Structured as a traditional interview program, “Everything is Alive” features conversations between host Ian Chillag and an inanimate object (voiced by an animate human). Program descriptions include gems like, “Connor is a painting, but is anybody looking at him?” and “Jennifer is a copy of The Canberra Times from October 24th, 1988. She might not be news anymore, but she’s still paper.”
“Still Processing,” hosted by Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham
New York Times culture writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham host this sprawling, award-winning pop culture podcast, which dissects the cultural moment through T.V., music, film, the internet and more with the ease of skilled surgeons. Episodes frequently transport the duo outside of the recording booth to conduct site-specific interviews. The most recent conversations presented a banjo-laden look into “Old Town Road” and its place as song of the year.
“Keep It,” hosted by Ira Madison III
This podcast is for those who simply devour culture. Perched on the intersection of politics and pop, “Keep It” functions as a quick-paced, witty recap of everything that’s happening on Twitter and beyond. The format is long, with episodes often clocking in past the 90-minute mark, and contains interviews with prominent figures — including Margaret Cho, Angela Bassett, Billy Eichner and more.
“Dance and Stuff,” hosted by Reid Bartelme and Jack Ferver
Best friends Reid Bartelme and Jack Ferver discuss dance…and lots of other stuff. Whether you come for the insider look into the dance scene or for the pop culture discussions, you’ll want to stay for the genuine connection between the two hosts. Guests frequent the show (often appearing in more than one episode) and have included performance mavens Kyle Abraham, Isabella Boylston, Parker Posey, Anthony Roth Costanzo and many more.
“Day One Fans,” hosted by LaChelle Chrysanne
With topics including freelancing, female rap, imposter syndrome and toxic masculinity, “Day One Fans” presents a holistic look into arts and culture, with a focus on “amplifying the voices of underrepresented creatives.” Each episode offers up frank discussions about race, identity and art and includes interviews with painters, filmmakers, photographers and more.
“Constellations,” founded and edited by Jess Shane and Michelle Macklem
“People have been thinking too long that art is a privilege of the museums and the rich,” prompts a teaser for the experimental sound podcast. A unique and intriguing listen, the program creates a unique soundscape by pulling together audio art from international artists.
“The Open Ears Project,” hosted by various guests
Billed as “part mixtape, part sonic love-letter,” this daily podcast uses classical musical tracks as jumping off points for poignant and personal stories told by a range of guests, including Jon Batiste, Aminatou Sow, Jamie Barton and New York City firefighter Rob Vogt. Though each episode is short, the program also includes a playlist for deeper exploration into the titles discussed.
“Articles of Interest,” hosted by Avery Trufelman
The threads of fashion are picked apart in this podcast presented by the creators of the popular program “99% Invisible.” With topics ranging from womenswear and pockets to the environment and the textile industry, the mini-series looks at clothes and how they fit into the culture at large.
“On the Media,” hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield
The long-running program “On the Media” explores the impact of media on perception through interviews and stories. Presented weekly, the podcast often uses current events as a lens for speaking about transparency, journalism and privacy.
“Art Law,” hosted by Steve Schindler and Katie Wilson-Milne
Hosted by real-life lawyers Steve Schindler and Katie Wilson-Milne, “Art Law” focuses on the legal side of arts and culture. Recent episodes have taken a close look at museum controversies, financial crimes dealing with art and the recovery of Holocaust-era artwork.